That Nesting Though…

Hey everyone!

There hasn’t been a whole lot of movement yet in the job search. I did get my resume critique back, and I did find a lot of the suggestions useful. I’ve also talked to my Transition Coach twice, and both times she provided great advice. She suggested reaching out to “target companies” directly, and really taking charge and ownership of my job search. This, along with networking, will definitely be a challenge as it is pretty out of my comfort zone. So far though, the resources and assistance that’s been provided has helped me focus a bit more on what I need to do to succeed and land a new job. I’m just hopeful that something great is on the horizon and all of this will have worked out for the best!

I have spent a good amount of time this week getting things organized around my apartment, which has been long neglected. I think it’s helping me stay positive, which is nice. I always find that cleaning things up and refreshing my surroundings also refreshes my mind, in a way. Maybe it’s just me trying to gain control over things I really have control of, which helps distract from the things outside of my control at the moment. (Side note: I’m pretty sure this is nesting? Am I nesting?!) Either way, it works for me, and my apartment is definitely looking a lot more tidy!

I’ve also been keeping up with my weekly Instagram posts, and recently went on the hunt for things to use in my mini photo shoots. I’m pretty excited for a few posts that will be released within the next month or so. These are the three I’ve posted so far!

Illustration  Engagement Party Invitation  Anniversary Party Invitation

As I mentioned last time, these will all be available for personalization in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for that. 🙂

Otherwise, things have been pretty much the same, but my outlook is definitely improving. Last week I was teetering on the edge of an existential crisis and I think that has been averted, so whew! I’m beginning to enjoy the time I have off of work now, and am definitely trying to make the most of it. I signed up for Skillshare yesterday, and I’m excited to watch some videos and learn some new stuff. If I find anything cool, I’ll be sure to let you all know so you can check it out too.

I’ll check back in soon! Hope you’re all doing great!

Funemployment

I’m currently at the beginning of Week Two of my unemployment. So far it hasn’t been too bad, and I spent a lot of that time at home in Wisconsin with my mom and family pets. It was nice to keep my mind occupied and busy with things there, instead of mentally derailing myself and getting bogged down in the stress of not knowing what’s next in store. I got to eat lots of yummy foods, and get lots of wonderful puppy kisses, and that’s all we really need in life, right? 😉

Last week, I also spoke to my Transition Coach, which is part of a service provided by my employer to assist in setting up those affected by the layoffs for success. My Coach was very helpful and easy to talk to, and I’m excited to take in the advice and guidance she will be providing in the next few weeks. It’s definitely good to know that there is someone in my corner who is here to help me take my best step forward. They’re currently going over my resume, and I’m anxious to see what changes are recommended. I don’t feel like I was entirely prepared for the workforce after graduating college, so I’m really looking forward to finding out what the best tried-and-true methods are when searching for your next employer.

My Coach also suggested that I set up a Behance account, which is something I will be working on over the next few days. It’s nice to have a few mini-projects to keep busy with in the meantime, as well. I have a whole list of other things that I would like to accomplish during my unemployment period, so I’m making the most out of the downtime that I have. Hopefully it will all help me with whatever my next journey is! 🙂

I have also finally set up a Ruby July Instagram account, and will be adding photos of some of the designs I’ve made over the past few years. I was able to get a bunch of stationery designs physically printed, so I’ll be using those for the majority of the posts. I think it will be a good way to see what I’ve been up to, and if there’s anything you like, please let me know! I’m always grateful for any feedback received! My hope is that eventually I will be able to post all of these designs and make them available for sale. Still working out the details on all of that, but if you’re ever interested in having anything customized for your own needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

I’ll check in again within the next few days, and if anything new or exciting comes up! Until next time! 😀

The Last Day

Inevitably, the last day at my job has come.

The day was kind of a somber one; those of us that were left have kind of been going through the motions for the last few weeks. Some of my coworkers are staying through the end of the month, so at most an additional two days of work. It would be interesting to see how that would be, as many of us have already left.

I held up pretty well though, all things considering, and I tried to push it to the back of mind as much as possible. It’s hard to accept that I will never see some of them again, as we are all splitting up and moving across the country. Those I’ve grown closest to I truly hope to keep in contact with and see often.

I was able to speak to my department manager on the phone today, as she is located in Arizona. It was refreshing to get to talk things through a little, and she was thankful for everything my team and I have done for the company. She’ll be staying on in a new role, as the Production Design Team in its current format will be no longer. I’m honestly so thankful for the experience I’ve had at this job, and I do know that I am truly in a much better position than when I started.

As far as the job hunt goes, I have applied for my first few jobs yesterday. Still working on finalizing my cover letter and applying for jobs that require that as well. I will be speaking with a job placement assistance company my employer offered for us as part of our severance package. I’m hopeful that their guidance will be useful, and I’m excited to hear any feedback from what I’ve been doing so far.

On another note, I enjoyed the process of designing my portfolio website so much, that I have created another one to replace this blog! I’ll still be posting on here, so those of you that have been following for the past few years will still get to see what I’ve been up to. I’m still working through the kinks on the other site, so it’s pretty basic at the moment but I am hoping to expand it into showcasing my stationery and wedding suite designs and offer them for purchase. Check it out here! Let me know what you think!

I’ll be checking in more often during the next few weeks, as my job hunt commences. I have a list of things that I would really like to focus on during this time, so it can be a productive and positive period in my life instead of a wasted one. We’ll see how it goes!

The Last Month

Oh, hey.

It’s been just about three years since my last post. I’ve definitely let things here slide by unattended, and have focused more on the mundane day-by-day instead of overall goals. I’ve been working with the same company I mentioned previously, and it’s honestly been pretty great overall. I’ve made some amazing friendships and have had a lot of fun being a part of such an amazing, close-knit team.

As a bonus, I have learned a lot about my craft, further refining my skills and regaining confidence in the field of design. I’ve taken on a ton of extra responsibilities within my department, and have been trained in on a handful of specialized teams. All of this was done with the intention of moving up within the company, and learning as much as I could during my time here.

Unfortunately, my time here is close to an end.

One month from today, July 28, will be my last day. There has been a company restructuring, and the executive staff has decided that my entire department will be no longer needed. This is eliminating jobs for over 100 people in my department alone. Yup. Ouch.

We found out back in February, and none of us saw it coming. I’ve experienced such a range of emotions since then, and everyone has dealt with it differently. In a way, it’s nice that it’s happening to all of us instead of just a few, since it’s much easier for us to relate to one another. It’s brought us all together, and unified us as a team more than ever before, but it’s also bittersweet since we all know it will soon come to an end.

For me, during the first two months, I think I cycled through the stages of grief at least a dozen times. I then sunk into a weird, emotionless void, where I knew a huge change was coming but I didn’t want to think about it, so I did my best to just ignore it and try to live in the present. (Admittedly, I didn’t always succeed.) The past few months I’ve spent building up my portfolio and preparing for the imminent job hunt. I finally finished my updated portfolio website earlier this week, and am hopeful that it will be of use in landing another graphic position.

I’ve really been trying to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. Funnily enough, looking back on my blog posts here has helped. I was going through a lot of the same things three years ago as I am now, and it’s been nice to reflect back on those hopeful feelings. It’s definitely a similar cycle, and although this time it wasn’t as much on my terms, it’s still very much the same. I do have hope that this unexpected change will lead to better things, but I will confess that I am terrified that I will be taking a step backwards.

I guess all I can do in the meantime is just try to be positive and keep my head up. I have learned so much during my time here, so I am in a much better position than I was three years ago. And in all honesty, this could be a really good time for a change of pace, and a great opportunity to see some new faces and have new experiences. My life has become a bit stale as of late, so this could very well be the kick in the ass I needed to take a step forward into a new, brighter future.

I will do my best to post updates when I can, and I’ll try to keep you all in the loop. I’ll also be posting a few of the projects I’ve worked on over the past few years, and maybe even get that Pinterest Find of the Week up and going again (although probably not weekly as before).

I’ll end with a quote from my “Firsts & Lasts” post:
This time last year, I was in the exact same place as I was this year.
This time next year, essentially everything has the potential to be different.

Fingers crossed it will be for the best! 🙂

The Second Week

Week two at the new job has almost officially come to an end, and it was surprisingly good.

They threw us in on actual orders right away, beginning Monday morning. I think most of us are processing pretty slowly, but it’s expected and is actually preferred that way. We aren’t messing anything up, and we’re able to learn through our own mistakes as they come. The week started off a little rough, and there was definitely a point Monday afternoon, where I was just thinking, “I want to go home”, but the rest of the day evened out, and I settled in.

Since we’ve been processing actual orders, our job is to look through them and catch things that customers had either missed, or not taken the time/care to fix themselves. It’s amazingly horrifying what some people send in, and the customers even get to see previews of their orders when they submit. They don’t magically go from shit to glory. It’s our team that makes it go from shit to glory, with a lot of strained eyes and carpal tunnel.

It does seem like a lot of the processing is the same, and I can definitely see how it could get repetitive. I haven’t minded that at all, so far, but I am also taking way more care than I probably will come December. Right now, it’s more about testing the boundaries and getting our skill set up to speed with the demands of regular, full volume processing. Our assigned evaluators go through our completed orders and then send them off to print or back to us if changes are needed. So far I haven’t had any awful mistakes that would likely have come back as reprints, so that’s a relief. Although, my orders for today haven’t been checked over yet, so that could change. Hopefully not!

It’s definitely a different kind of atmosphere here, too. I think that’s the most amazing thing about it so far. My last job seemed to stifle fun and creativity, and here it’s completely welcomed. The ten of us, plus our evaluators, all get along wonderfully so far. Both of our on-site evaluators have moved here from another location, so in a way, we’re all new here. We’re all in the same boat, and we all are essentially strangers. It’s an even playing field, which is quite nice. At my last job, it was really tough at first, because I was going into a tight-knit group of close friends so it was difficult to break in and feel like I belonged. Here, it’s different. Our entire team gets along great. I’ve had lunch with a few of them already, and it’s definitely starting to feel more natural. Some people are already making vague future plans for things to do as group PDT Outings. Tonight, we’re meeting up for our “First Official PDT Happy Hour”. Yup. Right?! My old job didn’t do anything even similar to that, so it really is refreshing to be in this new, fun environment.

All in all, things are going pretty well. I have my own desk area, a private little lock box on wheels, two (!) computer screens, and my own phone number. Wowsers. I imagine it will be a lot more hectic when the orders ramp up, but I think we’re going to be given plenty of time to really learn the process and therefore, plenty of opportunity to succeed. I’m definitely happy so far, and hopeful that things will continue to improve as we get to know the job and each other a little better.

This weekend should be a nice relief from the past few stressful weeks, even though it will involve a ton of driving. But I’ll get to see my puppies, my preggo friend, and my birthday cake. Yum and yay!

One Week

So.
My first official week at my new job has been completed.
Overall, I think it went pretty well, which is a huge relief.

The training process was incredibly thorough, so there was a lot of information thrown at us in a relatively short period of time. Including myself, there were ten new hires for the Production Design Team, and everyone seems to get along great. There hasn’t been a large amount of time for mingling and really getting to know each other, but I do like everyone so far. I think we’ll be an incredibly strong team once we all get the hang of things.

The position seems to involve a lot more customer contact than I was expecting, but we’ve been given a lovely little booklet of phone scripts to work through for a variety of possible concerns. We haven’t had too much practice with that yet, but I think once there is actual back-and-forth dialogue with the customers, things should (hopefully) flow naturally. I have always been the kind of person to hate being on the phone, so I think this may provide my biggest challenge with the position. As much as I will probably dread making the first few calls, I am glad to get the experience and hopefully get over that phone-hatred that I’ve always had.

We’ve been told that this week is going to involve a lot of shadowing and one-on-one time with specific evaluators we’ve been assigned to. I’m thankful that my assigned evaluator is actually located in the building, as some of us will have to work with evaluators from satellite locations.

I’m anxious to see how this week will go, and I have a feeling we’re going to be thrust pretty quickly into doing things on our own. Since college, I honestly don’t think my brain has had to work this hard to actually learn and remember things. I understand most of the bits and pieces so far, but it’s just a matter of putting everything together in the expected process. That might be a bit tough, so we’ll have to see how that all goes. I’m just trying to keep my head up and stay positive, and not get too overwhelmed. We’re all in the same boat, and it’s to be expected.

It’s really incredible to think about how much has changed in one short week. I already feel like leaving my old job happened a really long time ago, which I find kind of funny. I spent so much of my life there, and I’m already barely looking back. I think that just goes to show that this was really a good change for me, and it truly was long overdue. This year really seems to be about forward progress, and I think a lot of that comes down to my mindset. It’s amazing what we can accomplish if we refuse to get caught up in the shitty parts of life and give up. I really hope that good things will start falling into place, as long as I keep myself open to it and take some chances.

I’ll be sure to keep updating on the new job, and once things settle down a bit and cash flow gets going again, I’m hopeful to start focusing a little more on designing and selling through Ruby July.

Hopefully this week goes as well as the last! I’ll post again soon! 🙂